Managing Director

  • Job Reference: 00002621-1
  • Date Posted: 27 February 2023
  • Recruiter: Ford & Stanley Executive Search
  • Location: County Durham
  • Salary: £120,000 to £140,000
  • Sector: Senior Executive Positions, Other Rail Jobs
  • Job Type: Permanent

Job Description

Ford & Stanley Executive Search (Part of the Ford & Stanley Group) are specialists in Executive Interim and Permanent appointments to the UK & North American Rail, General Manufacturing, Envirotech & Digital Industries.

We have been exclusively entrusted and appointed by the Swedish business – Dellner Group, on a retained search for a Managing Director/ Business Unit Manager at their County Durham facility.

Below you will find an ‘opportunity brief’ developed from notes taken during the scoping meeting (Situational Discovery) held between the F&S Search Director & Dellner CFO and HRD. This brief is designed to give candidates true insight into the opportunity inherent within the role, the challenges the role presents and provide access to the detail that sits behind the job specification.

Client Opportunity Quotes:

“The core objectives for our new MD will be Growth, Profitability, Structure, People Engagement & Stability”.

“We like a strong communicator (good news or bad news – that’s ok), some might say ‘over communicator’ and there is an expectation of our MD’s to know the numbers. I.e – How/where is the business making money, where is it losing money and areas for marginal gains and increase profits”.

“Proactive, innovative, growth and solutions minded MD would thrive in this role”.

About Dellner Group

Dellner Polymer and Glass Solutions (DPGS) is a group with two divisions, Polymer Solutions and Glass Solutions, ‘Polymer Solutions’ provide technologically advanced vibration control rubber fabrication and bonding solutions for a global market supplying rail, off-highway, defence, marine and other industrial industries.

‘Glass Solutions’ design, engineer, manufacture, test and supply specialist glass, glazing products, aluminium windows, doors and other fabrications for the transport, specialist architectural, security and defence and domestic markets. They have facilities in Consett County Durham, Luton and Tamworth and a sales office in Germany.

They form a part of Dellner Group, a Swedish organisation which also includes Dellner Bubenzer Group, an industry-diverse global leader in the design and manufacture of hydraulic and braking systems and solutions. It was only recently that the Dellner Group was formed, but it consists of companies with long traditions. The Group has a revenue of 175 million Euro and approx. 1000 employees in 15 countries.

Candidate Essentials:

  • Sales oriented with the ability to get out the projects on time and to right cost.
  • Important to understand manufacturing but not a manufacturing expert.
  • Experience from OEM-production and growth with sustained profitability (Key).
  • Live within 1 hour commute of site and willingness to be a present leader ideally 5 days a week (Occasional work from home can be discussed) with flexibility to visit clients, suppliers or ad hoc remote working.
  • Advantageous if the candidate comes from a rail background, alternatively within bus production in UK, generally background from glass system and with an understanding of that business. Other transferable OEM industries considered.
  • Sales / Growth focussed MD with demonstrable track record.
  • Entrepreneurial mindset – a problem solver who in a natural way build relationships both internally and externally.
  • Proven experience as MD or other managerial position and in previous roles has grown the company with profitability.
  • The right candidate has experience from previous roles including developing strategic – and business plans and to full fill those plans.
  • Excellent organizational and leadership skills and a clear communicator with presentation skills.
  • Analytical and problem-solving person with a natural “sense of urgency” attitude.

Good to know…

  • Dellner Glass will close out 2022 at £13.4m turnover with 2023 targets set at £20.7m. 
  • The role has a team of Operational and Sales specialists reporting into it and ultimate responsibility for 185 staff in three locations- 76 in Consett, 102 in Tamworth and 7 in Luton. 
  • Candidate being based within 1 hour of County Durham is essential – For candidates willing to relocate, a post probation relocation considered and may be supported financially for the right candidate.
  • The role is newly created due to the promotion / progression of the current MD into a group post.
  • Being present on other sites in Tamworth (weekly/fortnightly) and Luton. 
  • Excellent people leadership and management skills required to turn strategic plans into operational activity.
  • The role reports into CFO. Dotted line into CEO. Colleagues include MD’s / Business Unit Managers of other Dellner entities.                     
  • The role has 5 direct reports. Draft Org chart available however, this is draft as it is expected the appointed candidate will have a view on the structure.
  • The client is preferably wanting someone with UK Rail Industry experience.
  • Whilst the role is for all intents and purposes the title of the position is MD but may become Business Unit Manager to coincide with other site references and structures. This is TBC.
  • The role being a leadership role is expected to be present on site. There is flexibility with the role, but the preference is very much that of being a present leader.
  • The ownership group is Scandinavian, and role may require some travel to areas Europe (once or twice a year).
  • Dellner group have ambition to make further acquisitions after the successful acquisition of Ferrabyrne in 2022.
  • The CEO’s preference is for their MD’s to communicate well (good or bad) know the numbers, how/where is the business making money, where is it losing money / areas for marginal gains and increase profits. Proactive, innovative, solutions minded. Considering the geographical positioning of the C-suite – regular communication is key. Increase in autonomy is to be expected as trust and understanding grows.
  • The retention of the business is strong, a good culture of hard-working people but perhaps lacking direction / common mission / vision. There is a lot of knowledge and capability and as such – potential in its people. Would benefit from some stability as a result of recent leadership changes.
  • Dellner Glass was acquired by Dellner Group 3 years ago and still bedding in the Scandinavian culture of innovation, commitment, team-spirit and joy.
  • Core objectives for the new MD are Growth, Profitability, Structure, People Engagement & Stability.
  • 2-stage interview process.
  • The first stage interview is face to face on site in County Durham with the HRD and HR Manager. (Top 4 candidates from the shortlist) This is likely to be more informal, and discussion-based with questions posed around the key essentials of the role highlighted above. Site tour included.
  • The final stage interview again, face to face onsite in County Durham (Final 2 candidates) held by the CEO and other stakeholders. This will be more formal. A presentation may be required.
  • It is intention to have this process concluded before the end of March 2023.
  • This executive search assignment has been exclusively retained with Ford and Stanley Executive Search who will be managing all direct and indirect interest.


  • £120k – £140k Base Salary (dependant on experience)
  • Car Allowance (£6k per annum)
  • Pension
  • Life Assurance
  • Private Healthcare
  • 25 days Holiday + 8 Statutory
  • Sick Pay (attractive)
  • Annual & Ad hoc Salary Reviews
  • Annual Bonus (to be defined)

Likely Job Titles:

General Manager, Manufacturing Director, Managing Director, Operations Director

Executive Search Delivery Team:

  • Dan Taylor – Search Director
  • Tom Norton – Managing Consultant
  • Lavinia Munteanu – Executive Assistant

About Ford & Stanley Executive Search:

At Ford & Stanley Executive Search we go beyond a recruiting transaction with our core mission being that of every interaction we have with clients and candidates is best in class. We are select in the opportunities we represent, as such, work under strict exclusivity or retained agreements with forward thinking and proactive global Rail companies that place their trust in our ability to deliver a winning shortlist at the first time of asking.

Our Search Directors (who are themselves members of the F&S Group Board) and in house research team invest time at the front end of process with our client’s leadership team or stakeholders to consult, understand the opportunity inherent within the role, business need, map and agree timescales with supporting delivery plan well in advance of conducting the search.

All candidates both active and passive (head-hunted) can expect full and professional engagement from the Executive Search team in addition a timely, thorough and engaging recruitment process from a committed employer that seeks to secure ‘cream of the crop’ from a busy and noisy Global Rail candidate market.

Ford & Stanley Group Ltd is committed to a policy of equal opportunities for all opportunity seekers and approach all opportunity with a mindset of who is right for the job irrespective sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, age, disability, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief or political beliefs and we place an obligation upon all staff to respect and act in accordance with the policy. We shall adhere to such a policy at all times and will review on an on-going basis all aspects of recruitment to avoid unlawful or undesirable discrimination.